How to become a Software Engineer
"If computers are the canvas, Software Engineers are the artist."
This statement is perhaps a bit bold, however the fact cannot be ignored that without Software Engineers, the majority of computer / information technology, and life as we know it, would not exist.
The role of a Software Engineer can be difficult to define due to the thousands of specialisms and career paths it can lead to. For example, two "Software Engineers" working for two different companies might have the same title, however Engineer A could be involved in the development of programming languages, whilst Engineer B could be exclusively involved in web development. The term "software" is simply too broad to define as one specific role.
This, coupled with the millions of budding engineers banging on the doors of Silicon Valley every day for a job, can make it seem like a hopeless task finding work as a Software Engineer. However, fear not, as we answer the question of... how do you become a Software Engineer?
There is no point in trying to become a Software Engineer if you are not prepared to get the right qualifications. Many employers require candidates to have at least a BSc or even a master’s degree in software engineering degree or a degree in computer science or a relevant subject. Having a higher level of educational accreditation will increase your chances of finding a Software Engineering job.
Do I need to go to university to become a Software Engineer?
There are other ways that you can become a professional Software Engineer without a university degree and national diploma. Some employers provide apprenticeships in which they will support you, mainly through providing practical experience in a working environment and will also help you gain the accreditation you'll need to progress within your career.
A great way to learn the basic skills needed of a Software Engineer is to attend coding bootcamps, in these intensive classes you can learn how to code and the basics of Software Engineering, from full stack development all the way through to more complex areas such as machine learning. These bootcamps are a great way to attain industry recognised qualifications in a short time compared to a degree. However, they can be expensive and often your employer will pay for your place.
What skills will I need to become a Software Engineer?
As mentioned earlier, the term "software" relates to so many different subject areas that it cannot be defined as one single skillset. However, if you are thinking about becoming a Software Engineer and are unsure on what areas of study you should focus on, check out the list of commonly required skillsets employers looks for:
Software coding - the ability to code basic software to perform a specific function.
Programming - the ability to ensure the software code is integrated within a programme.
Testing - the ability to design and run multiple tests to ensure the software is functioning.
Software development / design - the ability to design and develop every process and function of the software and how it will integrate with other technologies.
Project build and design - the ability to build projects that will support the overall programme from a software perspective.
What are my career options when I become a Software Engineer?
There are many different career paths you can choose when you learn the right skills. Choosing a specialism as a career can be a great way to progress quickly and potentially earn more money. Below we'll list some specialist careers available to Software Engineers.
· Web Application Developer
· Game Developer
· Web Developer
· Software Tester
How much do Software Engineers earn?
How much you earn really depends on your level of experience and your specialisms. A junior full time Software Engineer in the UK can typically expect to earn around £25,000 to £30,000. Whilst a senior Software Engineer specialist can typically earn anywhere between £60,000 to £90,000.
At Morson we help professionals working within the IT and Digital sectors to find their dream careers every day. No matter how specialist your industry is or how much experience you have, our team of consultants are dedicated to helping you get the right job offer. They will help you with everything from your CV to job interviews. Search and apply for jobs here